Summer is an ideal time for homeowners to work on their dream projects. If you’re a remodeling contractor, that means it’s time to update your marketing game to bring in more business.
An easy way to do this is by offering your prospective clients tips on how to get started. Coaching customers builds their trust and confidence in your strength as a contractor. Recently, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry offered 10 such tips, including what may be the most important one: making sure customers understand payment options.
Offering payment options helps customers make the best use of their money. When a homeowner understands the value of holding their own money over time, while making it work for them — rather than paying high interest over that period — they’ll catch the vision of how payment options can really allow them much greater flexibility to do what they want with their home. And it gives contractors a strong opportunity to sell a bigger job, once homeowners see the value of a Same-As-Cash Loan or Low Monthly Payment loan.
For the homeowner, there’s a lot of value to keeping their cash: EnerBank USA’s loans are unsecured, so homeowners don’t have to put up any collateral or take out a home equity line of credit. And instead of saving and waiting, your customer can live in the house they want to have right now. Since you never know which kind of customer you’re going to get (cash or finance), keeping a Same-As-Cash loan and a low monthly payment loan option in your back pocket means you’re prepared for anything.
Making use of EnerBank’s easy-to-use loan products, homeowners can increase their budget and complete a dream project without dipping into their home equity, a high interest credit card or even cash they might need for a rainy day. The benefit for the homeowner is obvious, but remodelers who offer these payment options through EnerBank also benefit with a competitive advantage: increased sales, and happy customers who come back for more!
Here are nine other tips NARI suggests contractors share with homeowners as the customer gets started on a remodeling project:
· Research the project. Taking time to research projects on the internet and NARI.org will provide a good sense of what is involved such as price, scope of work, return on investment and new product/material options. Also, the homeowner should research property values in their neighborhood to make sure their project is in line with other homes in the area.
· Plan the project around the long-term. How long does the homeowner plan to stay in their home? How might their family structure change over time? Life can change quickly—these questions should be answered early on to ensure the project will fit their lifestyle long after it’s complete.
· Use advanced search for professionals. Homeowners should ask friends, family and neighbors for referrals and then spend time researching those contractors online. Professional remodelers take their reputation seriously and hold credentials beyond licensing, such as certifications, memberships in trade associations and additional training. It’s helpful to look for examples of press coverage or involvement in industry presentations or events. They should check online reviews and social media to see how the contractor interacts with past clients and peers.
· Ask the right questions. The homeowner can ask their professional remodeler about his educational background, training, specialties or past issues with clients, and ask about how the remodeling process will work.
· Verify the remodeler. Encourage the homeowner to check the information they’re given, such as references, license numbers, insurance information and certifications by calling providers to verify. They can even request a visit to an active client’s jobsite. A true professional considers being “checked up on” to be a positive sign from homeowner.
· Review contracts word-by-word. A remodeling contract protects both the homeowner and the remodeler. Homeowners should review this carefully. Professional remodelers have done this before, and know what should go in a contract. Homeowners are not as familiar with remodeling and should ask about terms if they don’t understand.
· Keep design in mind. The homeowner’s design guides the entire project. They should think about what they dislike about their current space and the intended use of the new space. It’s a good idea to use websites such as Pinterest.com and Houzz.com to gather design ideas. The homeowner should make sure they can articulate specifically what they like about that design when talking to their designer. Professionals don’t recreate a photo—they incorporate accessibility, functionality, ease of modification, style and value into the design.
· Make selections. Deciding on products and materials is a larger process than most imagine. With so many options to choose from, product selections are one of the primary reasons for project timelines to get extended. Homeowners should base decisions on quality, function, price, style and availability.
· Create a communication plan. A common downfall in remodeling is lack of communication between homeowners and remodelers. The remodeler should lay out a communication plan at the beginning of the project. If not, the homeowner should ask them to do so. This plan should clarify roles of everyone involved, communication methods, availability, and frequency of communication that’s expected.
Whether you’re a homeowner or remodeling contractor, the time couldn’t be better to begin a remodeling project! In any case, EnerBank is here to help. Find out more about the benefits of payment options at enerbank.com.